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How ZeroG is Used with Marianjoy Patients

Source Video: Marianjoy

Vanessa Flaherty, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, IL, shows how ZeroG helps them safely perform gait retraining with their patients.

 

ZeroG can help those who are recovering from neuromuscular disorders such as stroke, traumatic brain injury and incomplete spinal cord injury or other orthopedic conditions. ZeroG enables Marianjoy therapists to provide the patients with task-specific practice. This means, that the patient is able to practice the entire task of walking as a whole without breaking up the movement into individual components.

 

ZeroG differs from conventional harness systems. Traditional systems catch the patient immediately once the loss of balance is detected in order to prevent a fall. ZeroG, however, allows the therapist to set the amount of distance before the catch mechanism is employed. Not only does this help the patient to relearn how to control and recover from a stumble or fall, it also retrains the brain on the proper way to react and correct for a loss of balance. Because ZeroG provides the opportunity to make errors in a safe environment, the patient is better able to carry over these skills to real-world situations.

 

zerog-woodway

 

Another benefit of using ZeroG, is that it allows for increased repetition and practice of the task of walking. ZeroG is also integrated with a Woodway split-belt treadmill. The treadmill allows the therapist to vary the speed of the patients gait as well as isolate working on one leg or the other to help improve the affected leg’s swing time and challenge it’s stability.

Because the system can be set to support any amount of the client’s body-weight, most clients are able to walk for a longer time period and often at a faster pace without fatiguing as quickly.

 

Recent neuroplasticity studies have shown repetition and task-specific practice like this is essential for the recovery of functional mobility as well as the cortical recovery in the brain itself. The ZeroG system can also be used while performing balance training, floor transfers and while teaching patients how to overcome other barriers such as stairs, curves and other obstacles they may encounter at home and within their community.

 

zerog-floor

For more information on using ZeroG at Marianjoy, please call 800-462-2366 or visit: www.marianjoy.org

 

To see entire video, click here to view on YouTube: ZeroG Marianjoy Video

ZeroG Gait & Balance training technology at Mary Free Bed

Source: Mary Free Bed

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital becomes the first hospital in the Midwest to acquire a ZeroG Version 2. This new technology aids patients in gait and balance activities while they still have the safety of being protected by falls. Patient Todd VanZantwick used ZeroG to jog half a dozen paces down the hallway three weeks after he began his physical therapy. VanZantwick was among the first patients to benefit from ZeroG, Mary Free Bed’s new and sophisticated gait and balance training system. It gave VanZantwick the confidence to push himself harder because he knew he wouldn’t fall.

“There’s no way we could have attempted that without this equipment,” Mary Free Bed physical therapy Kristy Simpson said of VanZantwick’s brief run. “Now, we can be more aggressive, because the risk of fall is almost eliminated. And the more aggressive we can be, the more function the patient will recover.

ZeroG is a machine that runs along 85 feet of ceiling-mounted track on the fourth floor of Mary Free Bed’s new hospital in Grand Rapids.

Mary Free Bed Hall walk

ZeroG provides “dynamic” support. Once a patient is trapped into the harness, a therapist can program the machine to provide a certain amount of constant physical support and to “catch” the patient if he or she ventures out of the designated parameters. ZeroG gave VanZantwick the support and leeway to jump and move from side to side, but once he strayed too far or moved too quickly, signaling the machine he might be falling, the ZeroG Harness strap would lock to prevent him from taking a tumble.

 

Patient Terry Carter is rehabilitating from a spinal cord injury and broken hip. ZeroG provided support as he attempted to step up onto a stool. He also worked on standing from a seated position – without fear he would tumble forward onto the floor. Carter even enjoyed a game of Tetris on ZeroG’s touchscreen by working to control and stack the blocks by jumping or moving his body from left to right.

Mary Free Bed ZeroG Games

 

“If we have to concentrate on keeping a patient from falling, it’s difficult to also focus on the muscles they’re using and how to best help them improve their walking skills”, Simpson said.

Aretech Partners with APDM Wearable Technologies

Source:  PRWeb

Aretech announced today that the ZeroG Gait and Balance Training System will now feature APDM’s Mobility Lab for comprehensive gait and balance assessment. APDM technology includes wearable sensors that provide sensitive, validated and reliable outcome measures of rehabilitation interventions. When combined with ZeroG, therapists now have the opportunity to treat their patients with the highest level of safety and treatment options, and then accurately quantify improvements in gait, balance and postural control.

ZeroG Gait and Balance Mobility Lab

“We’ve always known ZeroG is the most advanced rehabilitation system in the world; however the one piece we were missing was the ability to accurately assess improvements in walking, postural stability, turning, sit to stand and other ADL tasks with validated measures. By integrating ADPM’s Mobility Lab into the ZeroG framework, therapists can now track outcomes with a variety of clinical scales and store this information in ZeroG’s secure patient database,” said Joe Hidler, CEO of Aretech. “We are looking forward to this new partnership with APDM and continuing to advance rehabilitation options for so many patients, therapists and researchers who use our technology.”

ZeroG Mobility Lab

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Through comprehensive validation against motion analysis and clinical measures, Mobility Lab is the most trusted wearable sensor technology on the market for quantifying gait and balance,” said Matthew Johnson, General Manager of APDM. “Pairing our technology with Aretech’s ZeroG is a perfect match to help make it easy for therapists to collect, analyze and store valid outcome measures to justify treatment.”

Advantages of ZeroG

  •     Safely treat a wide range of patient sizes and clinical diagnoses across a wide range of therapeutic activities
  •     Therapy intensity can be modulated through high-level dynamic body-weight support
  •     Real-time biofeedback and games motivates patients
  •     Lowers the risk of injury to patients and therapists
  •     Easy to use, with short setup times

Advantages of Mobility Lab

  •     Justify treatment with evidence-based practice
  •     Analyze outcome measures with functional tests such as timed up and go, 2 minute walk and sit to stand
  •     Accurately measure minimally-detectable changes in gait and balance
  •     Record natural movement, activity levels, gait, balance, turning, tremor and intervention response

About Aretech, LLC
Aretech, LLC, based in Ashburn, Virginia, is the world leader in robotic overground body-weight support systems. The company has a strong commitment to quality, innovation, and developing technology based on evidence-based research. Additional information about Aretech can be found at http://www.aretechllc.com.

About APDM, Inc.
APDM Inc., based in Portland, OR, produces the highest quality wearable sensors on the market; used by hundreds of universities, hospitals, and professional sports teams worldwide. APDM’s mission is to develop and commercialize best-in-class solutions for quantifying human movement with wearable technologies. Additional information about APDM can be found athttp://www.apdm.com.

Aretech’s ZeroG used in research to help restore the ability to walk following spinal cord injury

Source: Neuroscience News

The ability to walk has been restored following a spinal cord injury, using one’s own brain power, according to research published in the open access Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation.

This is the first time that a person with complete paralysis in both legs (paraplegia) due to spinal cord injury was able to walk without relying on manually controlled robotic limbs, as with previous walking aid devices.

The participant, who had been paralyzed for five years, walked along a 3.66m long course using an electroencephalogram (EEG) based system. The system takes electrical signals from the participant’s brain, which then travel down to electrodes placed around his knees to create movement.

Dr. An Do, one of the lead researchers involved in the study, from University of California, Irvine, USA, says: “Even after years of paralysis the brain can still generate robust brain waves that can be harnessed to enable basic walking. We showed that you can restore intuitive, brain-controlled walking after a complete spinal cord injury. This noninvasive system for leg muscle stimulation is a promising method and is an advance of our current brain-controlled systems that use virtual reality or a robotic exoskeleton.”

Mental training was initially needed to reactivate the brain’s walking ability. Seated and wearing an EEG cap to read his brainwaves, the participant trained to control an avatar in a virtual reality environment. He also required physical training to recondition and strengthen his leg muscles.

The participant later practiced walking while suspended 5cm above ground, so he could freely move his legs without having to support himself. On his 20th visit, he translated these skills to walk on the ground and wore the ZeroG Gait and Balance Training System for aid and to prevent falls. Over the 19 week testing period, he gained more control and performed more tests per visit.

ZeroG UC Irvine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experimental setup.    Left: The suspended walking test. In response to “Idle” or “Walk” cues displayed on a computer screen (not shown) the participant modulates his EEG by idling or attempting to walk. EEG is sent wirelessly (via Bluetooth communication protocol) to the computer, which processes the data and wirelessly sends a decision to either “Idle” or “Walk” to a microcontroller. The microcontroller (placed in the belt-pack) drives the FES of the femoral and deep peroneal nerves to perform either FES-mediated standing or walking (in place). Right: The overground walking test. In response to verbal cues, the participant performs BCI-FES mediated walking and standing to walk along a linear course and stop at three cones positioned 1.8 m apart. The basic components are: the BCI-FES system, motion sensor system (two gyroscopes and a laser distance meter), and the ZeroG body weight support system to prevent falls. The information flow from EEG to FES is identical to that of the suspended walking test. Note that the participant’s face was scrambled due to privacy concerns Credit: King et al. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2015.

Video of Walk

Kessler Foundation uses the Aretech ZeroG Gait and Balance System to advance research

Source: Globenewswire

The Kessler Foundation acquired the ZeroG Gait and Balance Training System to advance their rehabilitation research for people with disabilities. ZeroG will be used in research by Kessler to help explore new ways to help individuals function more independently at home, the community and in the workplace. ZeroG, a robotic body-weight support system mounted in an overhead track, allows individuals to engage in rehabilitative activities safely and independently.

 

ZeroG compliments the other technological resources scientists at Kessler are using and will provide real-time data for mobility research. People of various ages, weight and diagnoses can use the ZeroG for many types of functional activities. Participants can safely sit, stand, squat, climb stairs, use an exercise ball and run up to six miles per hour. In ZeroG, they can walk over ground, on a treadmill or in an exoskeleton, without the fear of falling. Via a wireless interface, the device provides real-time data for mobility research, including distance, speed and duration of walking, levels of body-weight support and falls prevented. Activity can be monitored via ZeroG’s touchscreen or a mobile phone or tablet.

 

Kessler Foundation is using ZeroG Version 2, which is more compact and has a higher weight capacity—a maximum of 400 pounds. Version 2 also provides biofeedback to challenge individuals physically and cognitively. A high-resolution display screen features interactive games and target matching activities such as breaking blocks and bobbing and weaving to avoid objects, which increase motivation and encourage participation.

 

The Kessler Foundation is a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit KesslerFoundation.org.

Motor learning strategies applied to neurorehabilitation

Source:  Kessler Foundation

Dr. Joe Hidler, CEO of Aretech and inventor of the ZeroG Gait and Balance Training System discusses the research he and colleagues have done which has served as the catalyst as to why ZeroG was developed. This podcast was hosted by the Northern New Jersey Spinal Injury System with support from the National Institute on disability and Rehabilitation Research. US Department of Education grant H133N110020.

Dr. Hidler explains that one of his favorite quotes in relation to motor learning comes from John Krakauer, M.A., M.D., “Rehabilitation needs to emphasis techniques that promote the formation of an appropriate internal model and not just the repetition of movements.”  Dr. Hidler describes how movements occur using internal model formations which start at birth and continue into adulthood. How does this work in stroke patients who have been using their internal models their entire life which now no longer are appropriate? Everything changes so now there is inefficient motor control.

Error signals are very important in the learning process. The variability of tasks and the task variability in the acquisition phase is very important and improves performance in subsequent sessions in the generalizing of learning new tasks. The ZeroG Gait and Balance Training System differs from other robotic rehabilitation systems which move the limbs for the patient. ZeroG builds on the basics of motor learning and motor control strategies to help progress patients while learning variability of tasks.

Aretech to showcase ZeroG at APTA-CSM

Source: PR Web

Aretech is showcasing Version 2 of the ZeroG Gait and Balance System at the American Physical Therapy Association’s Combined Sections Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana February 4-7. ZeroG contains many unique features, not found in similar systems which present a significant advancement to therapists in the treatment options for their patients in gait, balance and practicing functional activities.

Aretech’s ZeroG is the only robotic overground system using dynamic body-weight support that has interactive balance programs with biofeedback, interactive games played through movements, dynamic fall recovery, treadmill integration and custom harnesses with shaping handles.

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Advantages of Using ZeroG

  •     Safely treat the widest range of patients, with the widest range of diagnoses, across the widest range of activities.
  •     Patients can safely begin their walking therapy early after neurological and orthopedic injuries, with early and intensive therapy being the most effective at promoting recovery.
  •     Therapy intensity can be modulated with dynamic body-weight support.
  •     Biofeedback motivates and cues patients.
  •     Lowers the risk of injury to patients and therapists.
  •     A single therapist can train even the largest, most impaired patients.
  •     Functional activities such as obstacle avoidance, sit-to-stand, floor transfers and stairs can be practiced safely.
  •     Monitor and track performance and functional progress.

ZeroG has the highest performance, safety and quality in its class with new features to help patients in achieving optimal recovery outcomes.

Patients at Children’s Specialized Hospital Use ZeroG for Optimal Recovery Outcomes

Source: Childrens Specialized

Pediatric patients recovering from a spinal cord injury, brain injury or stroke at Children’s Specialized Hospital now have access to ZeroG, cutting edge balance and gait training system that helps patients to walk again. Here at Children’s Specialized Hospital, we include ZeroG in our intensive pediatric rehabilitation hospital program, making us one of only two children’s hospitals in the country to offer the device.

The ZeroG is our newest addition to our therapy program, but our highly skilled team utilizes many other treatments for children with spinal cord dysfunction, stroke and brain injury.

Our outcomes and recovery rate for our brain injury, spinal cord and stroke patients far surpass the national average of similar institutions.  According to 2013 pediatric functional independence measure (WeeFIM).

  • Stroke and spinal cord injury patients had a significantly more successful recovery than the average outcomes of similar facilities nationwide
  • Stroke: average change rate score of 58.1% vs 34.9%.
  • Spinal cord: average change rate score of 55.3% vs 33.9%
  • Traumatic brain injury patients have significantly more successful recovery rates than national average of similar
  • Change rate scores 83.6% vs. 64.3% national average, a 19.3% difference

More About ZeroG
The dynamic body weight support harness provides training for standing, sitting, and walking. It is used for a wide range of patients with all levels of acquired, traumatic, and congenital spinal cord dysfunction, including children with:

  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Stroke and spinal stroke
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Paralysis
  • Incomplete spinal cord injury

There are many benefits to training with ZeroG:

  • Patients can begin physical therapy earlier in their treatment, a factor associated with enhanced outcomes.
  • The body-weight device allows for partial compensation of spasticity, abnormal coordination, and weakness.
  • There is nothing on the floor, so patients can practice on stairs and uneven ground, train for sit-to-stand motions, and use assistive devices if necessary.
  • The device offers security, so patients may not develop compensatory strategies.
  • Therapists can assess and track a patient’s recovery.

Additional therapy treatments may include:

  • FES cycling
  • Upper and lower extremity electrical stimulation
  • Custom bracing (some with built-in electrical stimulation)
  • Treadmill training

Each patient’s treatment plan combines a vigorous rehabilitation program with comprehensive medical and nursing care.

Of course, we understand that dealing with a spinal cord injury can be a stressful ordeal, even with the best care. So, to help our patients adjust as they recover from their injury, the team also provides community integration trips, school visits, and home evaluations to ensure a smooth transition to home and school.

Aretech Releases ZeroG Version 2

Aretech announced today it has released Version 2 (V.2) of the ZeroG Gait and Balance Training System, which was unveiled last week at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting in Las Vegas, NV. ZeroG V.2 has the same safety, quality and proven performance1 as the previous version of ZeroG with added innovative features which are the first of their kind in the rehabilitation field. Some of the new features include an anticipatory balance program with biofeedback, the integration of Google GlassTM, larger patient capacity, a smaller and more responsive trolley that supports higher walking speeds, tools for researchers, expanded data recording and enhanced treadmill integration.

About the ZeroG Gait and Balance Training System

ZeroG, invented by Aretech CEO, Dr. Joe Hidler, provides patients dynamic body-weight support as they practice walking, balance activities, and other Activities of Daily Living with simultaneous fall protection. With fully integrated Woodway treadmill controls in the ZeroG software, patients can also practice treadmill-based gait training. ZeroG monitors important information at more than 1,000 times per second, so that if a fall is detected, the system can safely catch the patient. And because its trolley rides on a customized ceiling track, there are no barriers between the therapist and the patient. This truly encourages patient-therapist interaction. With a press of a button on a touchscreen computer or wirelessly on a Google NexusTM tablet, therapists can adjust the amount of body-weight support, fall distance, and other parameters in order to modulate the intensity and complexity of each training session. Aretech’s ZeroG Gait and Balance Training System is listed with the Food and Drug Administration and is certified to safety standard IEC 60601-1, 3rd edition.

ZeroG exercise band

Advantages of Using ZeroG

  • Patients can safely begin their walking therapy early after neurological and orthopedic injuries, with early and intensive therapy being key factors related to the recovery of walking in neurological injuries2.
  • The system provides the highest level of safety to the patient, removing the potential for a fall. ZeroG also reduces the risk of injuries to therapists.
  • Balance activities with biofeedback can be practiced safely with fall protection and dynamic body-weight support.
  • A single therapist can train even the largest, most impaired patients.
  • Since the system is ceiling mounted, subjects can practice obstacles such as stairs and uneven terrain, practice sit to stand tasks, and can use assistive devices.
  • ZeroG records training parameters such as patient walking distance, number of falls prevented, min & max body-weight support, and many others. This information can be used to track a patient’s recovery.
  • With fully integrated Woodway treadmill controls, therapists can control all aspects of the training session through a single touch screen interface and can monitor treadmill training parameters such as distance walked, treadmill speed and more.

ZeroG technology at Froedtert helps patients develop confidence

Source: Fox 6

Imagine having a headache, and the next thing you know you are in the hospital, having to learn basics like walking again. That’s the reality Joan Schacht woke up to.

“Everything’s changed now,” said Joan Schacht. Just a few weeks ago, Joan was an active 68 year old woman, used to doing everything on her own. But then in an instant everything changed. “Next thing I know I am in the hospital and I woke up and my head was all cut open,” said Joan. She woke up at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin and was told she had had a stroke. Joan went from doing things on her own to needing help- with everything. “I have to depend on other people to help me do things and watch me walk so I don`t fall and just everything I do has to be watched,” said Joan. And on top of that, Joan didn’t know how or if things would ever go back to normal. She didn’t know if she would ever walk again.

But then her physical therapist, Cheryl Vorwald introduced her to the ZeroG Overground Gait and Balance Training System. ZeroG is a robotic training system that holds up to 50 percent of the patient’s body weight to help them walk and learn how to balance again. “It was like a miracle to just get in that machine and walk along. You could walk, you could hop, you could skip,” remembered Joan of the first time she used it.

The patient is in a harness, which is attached to a 75-foot overhead track on the ceiling. The system makes up to 1,200 adjustments per second, and detects if patients start to fall and catches them to prevent injury.

Froedtert ZeroG

“The first time you are afraid you are going to fall and crack your head open or something but then it catches you and you don’t fall,” said Joan. It also allows her personal trainer Cheryl to be a lot more hands on. The standard method without the system involves the physical therapist holding a gait belt while the patient practices walking. It ends up being more “artificial” that working with the ZeroG.

“When I take them and I can step back, they build that confidence and realize I am doing this on my own. The confidence and then their willingness to try other things increases and we can challenge them even further,” said Vorwald.

Froedtert Hospital has had this technology for about a year now. The money to purchase the system was donated to the Froedtert Hospital Foundation by the family of a patient who is deceased. Cheryl can see the difference the system has made in her patients, like Joan. Joan notices the changes it has made in her as well, both physically and mentally.

“You have control of your life again,” said Joan.